Coulter Berry approved, but court appeal continues

An appeal of a Supreme Court ruling against Langley Township will go ahead, although Langley Township council has a legal opinion stating that its subsequent re-approval of the Coulter Berry project is sound.

The council’s decision to re-approve development of the Coulter Berry building in Fort Langley is legally sound, according to lawyers at Bull Housser LLP, and complies with directions outlined by a Supreme Court judge to make the decision legal.

Late last year, Justice Groves of the BC Supreme Court overturned a Heritage Alteration Permit the Township had issued to allow construction of a three-storey, mixed-use, LEED-certified building at Glover Road and Mavis Avenue

The judge added, however, that the council was still open to amend the zoning bylaw “in the usual way.”

Following the Groves decision, Coulter Berry’s developer applied to amend the bylaw, and re-applied for the Heritage Alteration Permit, after making changes to the proposed building plans.

As part of the process, and after a lengthy public hearing, the Township amended the Fort Langley Official Community Plan Bylaw with a fourth reading on April 28, also ratifying amendments to the Facade Guidelines, and issued a new Heritage Alteration Permit for the development.

Despite the Township’s compliance with the court ruling, Coulter Berry opponents are continuing to challenge the decision to proceed with the development.

In response, the Township sought a legal opinion from the law firm of Bull Housser LLP, and received assurances that the it is now in compliance with the court ruling and all other requirements.

“The Township is bound to follow the ruling of Justice Groves, and we are doing so,” said Mayor Jack Froese. “However, we have concerns about that ruling, and will be appealing the judge’s decision to originally overturn the Heritage Alteration Permit.”

The Township’s appeal has been set for June 24.

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